A U.S. citizen detained in Venezuela since 2014 on attempted murder and weapons trafficking charges was released and flown back to the U.S. this week, NBC reports.

Details: A U.S. State Department official speaking on the condition of anonymity told NBC that a Venezuelan judge granted Todd Leininger parole in May 2018 and his release was court-ordered in November. In a 2014 Reuters interview, Barbara Leininger said her son previously admitted to shooting a man in self-defense during what he described as an "altercation" and that he has "some psychological issues," as reported by NBC.

The big picture: The U.S.- Venezuela relationship is currently strained by escalating U.S. sanctions and suffering of the Venezuelan people as a political stalemate unfolds between Nicolás Maduro's regime and National Assembly President Juan Guaidó. The U.S. withdrew all diplomatic staff from Venezuela after recognizing Guaidó as the country's interim president 3 months ago. President Trump has suggested the U.S. might be ready to back Guaidó with force.

Go deeper: A closer look at Venezuela's crisis

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8 hours ago - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Harris to Black voters: Casting a ballot is about honoring your ancestors

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris speaks at a "Get Out The Vote" rally at Morehouse College. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris appealed to Black voters in Georgia on Friday, urging them to "honor the ancestors" by casting ballots, and again calling President Trump a "racist."

Why it matters: The U.S. saw a significant decline in African-American voter turnout between 2012 and 2016, reaching its lowest point since 2000. Higher turnout among Black Americans this year could tip the balance in favor of Democrats in key battleground states, including Georgia.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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